Pakistan market

Pakistan market


The Definitive Guide to Entering the Pakistan Market

The startup ecosystem of Pakistan has seen a rise in recent years, owing greatly to the Pakistan Startup Act and the government’s initiative to establish several incubators. Another key factor that has made Pakistan a land ripe with possibilities is the 75 million dollar fund that the government has set up for entrepreneurs and small startups with the help of the State Bank of Pakistan. The government also facilitates women entrepreneurs specifically making it easier for women to enter the startup ecosystem of Pakistan. One of these initiatives is the Women Entrepreneurship Training Program (WETP) which aims to provide entrepreneurship, mentoring and training opportunities to women. The Punjab government’s “Ladies Fund” is also an initiative which provides interest-free loans to women.

Dastak: Your Partner for a Seamless Business Expansion!

Dastak is thrilled to play a role in this ecosystem by working with partner firms and helping them enter and expand into the Saudi market. 

To understand the market completely, a general overview of the  fintech ecosystem in Pakistan can be explained with the five pillars of the ecosystem: 

According to the government’s Finance Act 2017, startups were provided ease in possessing a chartered account immediately which led to it being incorporated with ease and lessened the costs levied upon company incorporation. While the fintech industry is largely regulated and supported by the State Bank – VCs and incubators have helped startups through their early years with support programs helping them connect with global resources and teams to build world-class propositions. On SBP’s front, there have been several initiatives taken to boost the digital footprint which include the Roshan Digital Account, cybersecurity measures for banks and SBP regulations that allow banks to onboard new customers digitally, without the need for physical KYC documentation.

Talent gap is one of the most imminent problems in the Pakistani tech market which exists because of a flawed educational system. But, even with these problems, there is a vast pool of talented young people who are available to fill these positions. The only gap that lies is between the employers and the talented individuals, for which a thriving HR-Tech system is the need of the hour. Pakistani HR-Tech startups like and are pioneers of the industry and are helping solve the talent gap in the market.

Growth in mobile and broadband Internet penetration, smartphones and a relatively young populace’s appetite for adopting new digital trends boosted interest from local and foreign players seeking to build value-added services in different domains. In addition to that, at the start of 2023, 3 new digital banks got licenses from the State Bank while startups continued to raise capital despite the global VC funding slowdown. The pandemic proved to be fruitful for the fate of Pakistani startups. During the pandemic (2021), Pakistani tech startups raised a total of $350 million and then another $322 million in 2022.Interest from MENA firms as a potential market for expansion has also been on the cards. Egyptian startup PayMob entered the country in 2022 along with Nigerian fintech OPay – both seeking to build their presence further in the region.

Pakistan has seen a strong uptake when it comes to new technological innovations and practices. E-commerce has been on the rise – led on the front by Daraz and Foodpanda. Food delivery and Q-commerce have been a big catalyst for change in the restaurant and shop businesses – this has reportedly prompted a lot of large-scale local retailers to start their independent e-commerce operations. The rise in e-commerce has also seen the rise of the logistics business with companies like Rider, PostEx, TRAX and others gaining ground in the market. 

On the digital footprint front, Pakistan has been rapidly growing with startups, often ushering in change in service levels and product propositions. It is something which has urged incumbent companies to re-think their strategies and ideate on new value and delivery propositions that better suit the populace. The Director of YouTube Partner Development and Management (APAC), Marc Lefkowitz, said “The number of creators in Pakistan has grown so much over the past few years that there are over 5,400 Pakistani YouTube channels with more than 100K subscribers”.